The order below - a directive to the Herman Göering Division dealing with
the evacuation of Sicily - is a typical example of German efficiency, even in
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Enclosure to Herman Göering Div Order No. 31/43, 2 Aug 43
Directive for Future Moves and Battle Actions in Sicily
1. No demolition and no road blocks are to be manned by Italian personnel. Officers
in charge of battle groups are responsible for the enforcement of this order.
2. Every German soldier who is forced to take to the mainland must be in
possession of infantry weapons. Apart from revolver and bayonet he will carry
a rifle, sub-machinegun, pistol or LMG, with ammunition. In the case of squads,
one heavy MG or mortar. These weapons are tickets for the ferry. Without those
mentioned, soldiers will ruthlessly be prevented from crossing.
3. No Italian, whether civilian or soldier, may interfere in any way with the
movement of the German armed forces. All Italian motor vehicles and heavy weapons
will be ruthlessly removed from the roads. This does not apply to units which,
as part of the division, have proved their worth in battle, and carry on the fight.
4. Isolated remnants of formations, platoons, and squads of any description are
to be put under the command of local units. They will be made to form part of
the current movement. Out-of-date orders are no longer valid.
5. Any motor transport, weapons or equipment that cannot be transported across
to the mainland are to be completely demolished. Destruction by fire is strictly
forbidden, since fires and traces of burning are liable to attract the attention of
enemy aircraft, both by day and by night. Blowing-up is the most effective method
of destruction, and will be applied to weapons as a matter of principle. Motor
transport will be destroyed so as to put them out of action for a long time at least.
(They will be blown up, magnetos removed, tires slashed, the engine smashed, or
the whole vehicle run over a cliff.)
6. The most rigid discipline is the main condition for the success of all future
moves. Anyone not co-operating will be shot. Examples of individuals always
7. All traffic control regulations come under direct orders of Div HQ. Whoever
does not comply with regulations is subject to disciplinary action, vide paragraph 6.
8. Roads which because of enemy action have been blocked (bomb craters or
demolished houses) must be made passable as quickly as possible, or diversions
created and flagged (attention drawn to them) by drawing on the civil population
and prisoners of war.
9. All personnel will carry haversack rations for 24 hours as well as iron rations.